Historical Fiction for the Middle Grades


No matter what your students are studying in history, consider using historical fiction as part of your curriculum. More than just dates and events, this genre of literature immerses readers in the time period, taking them on an adventure during the era they’ve just studied. If you want to supplement your curriculum for your middle grade readers (grades 5-9), here are some books you might want to look for:

The Ancients:

  • The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
  • The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

The Middle Ages

  • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
  • The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman
  • The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli
  • The Crispin: Cross of Lead by Avi
  • Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Gray Vining

The 1500’s

  • The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood

Colonial America

  • Blood on the River: James Town, 1607 by Elisa Lynn Carbone
  • The Serpent Never Sleeps by Scott O’Dell
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

The 1700’s and the Revolutionary War

  • The Fighting Ground by Avi
  • Give Me Liberty by Laura Elliot
  • The Matchlock Gun by Walter Dumaux Edmonds
  • Night Journeys by Avi
  • Stowaway by Karen Hesse

The Civil War

  • Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
  • Bull Run by Paul Fleischman
  • Hear the Wind Blow by Mary Downing Hahn
  • The Perilous Road by William O. Steele
  • Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder
  • Silent Thunder by Anrdrea Davis Pinkney
  • Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen

Westward Expansion

  • The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman
  • The Borning Room by Paul Fleischman
  • Boston Jane by Jennifer Holm
  • Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
  • Charlotte‘s Rose by A. E. Cannon
  • The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
  • Trouble River by Betsy Byars

The 1800’s

  • Bandit’s Moon by Sid Fleischman
  • Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
  • A Family Apart by Joan Lowery Nixon
  • Lyddie by Katherine Patterson
  • Rodzina by Karen Cushman
  • The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
  • Victory by Susan Cooper

World War I

  • All-of-a-kind-family Family by Sydney Taylor

1930’s & The Great Depression

  • Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

World War II

  • Journey to Topaz by Yoshiko Uchida
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  • On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck
  • Year Of Impossible Goodbyes by Sook Nyul Choi
  • Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy

As you search for books, don’t forget about historical fiction series such as the American Girl series, the Dear America series, and the My America series. And be sure to read the books along with your child — you’ll find there’s more to study, more to discuss, and more to learn!

Homeschooling Reading Curriculum by SmartTutor.com

Story Time – Stories for Kids

Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell

Picture By: Pratham Books

One comment

  1. May I also ask that you include my series, The Snipesville Chronicles? In Book 1, Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know When, three modern kids find themselves accidental time-travelers to England during World War II. Book 2, A Different Day, A Different Destiny, takes them to 1851, where they are caught up in the Industrial Revolution and its connection to slavery. I’m a professional historian (12 years as a college professor!) and I run fun history programs for kids. 🙂

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